Functional Outcomes After De-escalated Chemoradiation Therapy for Human Papillomavirus-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer: Secondary Analysis of a Phase 2 Trial

John V. Hegde, Narek Shaverdian, Carol Felix, Pin Chieh Wang, Darlene Veruttipong, Sophia Hsu, Jonathan Riess, Shyam Rao, Megan E Daly, Allen M. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze functional outcomes for patients treated on a phase 2 trial of de-escalated chemoradiation therapy for human papillomavirus-positive oropharyngeal cancer. Methods and Materials: Patient eligibility included p16-positive, stage III or IV oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma and a Zubrod performance status of 0 to 1. Treatment was induction chemotherapy with paclitaxel, 175 mg/m2, and carboplatin, area under the curve (AUC) of 6 mg/ml/min, for 2 cycles every 21 days, followed by concurrent paclitaxel, 30 mg/m2, every 7 days with dose-reduced radiation therapy of 54 or 60 Gy. Trends in body weight and body mass index (BMI) were analyzed with gastrostomy tube and narcotic use rates. Functional outcomes were assessed using the University of Washington Quality of Life Scale and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck Scale. Results: Forty-five patients were registered, of whom 40 were evaluable. Only 1 patient had a BMI deemed unhealthy at the completion of treatment. For the 15 patients (38%) with a normal BMI (18-25 kg/m2) before treatment, recovery back to baseline occurred at approximately 18 months (average BMI, 23.2 kg/m2 vs 22.3 kg/m2; P=.09). In 2 patients (5%), gastrostomy tubes were placed during treatment. No patient was enteral feeding tube-dependent at 6 months after treatment. Ninety-five percent of patients tolerated a normal regular diet at last follow-up. Conclusions: De-escalated chemoradiation therapy may improve functional outcomes as indicated by the relatively low incidence of gastrostomy tube placement and long-term dysphagia. In patients with a normal BMI prior to chemoradiation therapy, BMI recovered to baseline levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

Cite this